Largest Stock Exchanges In The World

For how long there have been stock exchanges or their predecessors lies hidden in the darkness of history. It can be assumed that even the first high cultures of the world in Mesopotamia knew about 10,000 years ago something similar to stock exchanges.

For a long time, for example, farmer markets served as a price-determining hub for agricultural goods, and even then the principle of supply and demand applied.

The former farmers’ markets were also important hubs for the supply of the population, which is why there were early regulatory interventions by the government, like in case of usury or the deliberate withholding of goods in order to drive up their price.

stock exchanges

​The Largest Stock Exchanges In The World

Today's term “bourse” for the stock exchange derives from the name “Van der Beurze”, a patrician family based in Bruges that operated several inns and hostels in the Belgian city during the 14th and 15th centuries.

One of these hostels was located on the market square of Bruges, which is why the place was generally named by the inhabitants as “Ter Beurze”, after the most famous building. 

At that time Bruges was the most important European trading center, comparable to London or New York today. It was also the time when the first joint stock companies were founded. The term “Beurze” has been modified into many languages and always describes a trading platform or marketplace.

Until the 17th century, the stock market simply remained a trading center in a city, depending on the location in the port or on the market. It was only in 1613 that a building was opened in Antwerp, which bore the official name Börse.

the world's largest stock exchanges

Stock markets today

From the late Middle Ages to the present day, the political and economic world has changed enormously. The main focuses of trade have long been postponed.

Although the Netherlands are still a major trading nation, they are no longer among the heavyweights in the stock market.

As examples five stock exchanges are now listed that rank among the top 15 in the world.

​Top List of The Largest Stock Exchanges

Deutsche Börse AG

The first is Deutsche Börse AG, which claims 12th place in the current ranking of the world’s largest stock exchanges, located in Frankfurt.

The volume of shares traded by Deutsche Börse AG in 2017 amounted to approximately $ 1.31 trillion. Deutsche Börse AG itself is still very young, it was only founded in 1992. The predecessors, however, has a history going back to the 16th century.

In Frankfurt, the stock market was initially a place. In this case, the central square of the ity, Römer square or short, “Römer”. In 1694, the merchants’ gatherings took place for the first time in a building that was initially rented.

This provisional remained in use for almost 150 years, a fact even Wilhelm Hauff, the author of the “Spessart Inn”, mocked. In 1843, the “old stock exchange” was first created, but as early as 1879 the move to the “new stock exchange” took place.

Today the actual trading place of the German stock exchange AG is in the neighboring municipality Eschborn, with Frankfurt Main remaining the official head office. In total, the German stock exchange AG employs more than 4500 people at 22 locations worldwide.

Among other things, the Eurex and Xetra trading platforms belong to it. The DAX with the 30 most important German stock corporations is also part of Deutsche Börse AG.

Japan Exchange Group Inc.

The Japanese Exchange Group ranks sixth in the international ranking, with $ 5.62 trillion traded in 2017. In 2013, the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Stock Exchange merged to form the Japan Exchange Group.

The most important predecessor of the only five-year-old Japan Exchange is the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which was founded in 1878.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Nikkei is released and updated every 15 seconds, listing the 225 most important joint stock companies of Japan with their prices.


With $ 11.07 trillion in stock volume in 2017, the NASDAQ ranks 4th on the list of the largest exchanges. Headquartered in New York, NASDAQ was the world's first electronic exchange to be launched in 1971. A great exchange for buying stocks and ve​ry popular for day trading. In the first third of the trading day is usually the best time of day to buy stocks on NASDAQ. That's because of the high volume right at the beginning of a trading day.

Measured by the listed companies, today it is also the largest stock exchange in the USA. Somewhat unclear is the link between the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.

Officially, these are two separate companies, but unofficially, the NASDAQ handled a good ten percent of NYSE sales through their systems by 1998. It is to be assumed that with the since then strongly increased electronic trade the entanglements have become even closer.

Today, the NASDAQ is not only the operator of the e-commerce exchange at Time Square in Manhattan but also of exchanges in Canada, Japan, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Riga, Tallin and Vilnius. The company employs 4325 people.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange, SZSE

SZSE, with a trading volume of $ 11.61 trillion, made 3rd place in 2017, just ahead of the NASDAQ. Like the NASDAQ, the SZSE focuses mainly on electronic securities.

The dominance of the electronic stock exchanges in the ranking clearly shows where the stock and investment market is heading.

The SZSE was founded in 1990 and, based on its listed companies, is the largest stock exchange in Mainland China after Shanghai.

According to its own website, SZSE is an independent company under the supervision of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Their main index is the SSE, which was introduced in May 2004. The city of Shenzhen, the seat of SZSE, is directly adjacent to Hong Kong and is of vital importance to China's economic development.

New York Stock Exchange

Still the number one, the NYSE, with a volume of $ 17.32 trillion, but everyone knows it under by name of the street where it resides, Wall Street. Almost 20,000 companies are listed on the NYSE, which beats all other stock exchanges by far. More than 8,000 of them are screened with Trade Ideas Artificial Intelligence stock scanner.

Like many stock exchanges in Europe, the founding of the United States’ oldest stock exchange took place under an open sky, or better, under a Buttonwood tree in 1792 on an empty lot on Wall Street. The first years’ stock trading was held in a coffee house.

For another 111 years, stock trading on the NYSE took place somewhere on Wall Street. It was only in 1903 that the stock exchange took Wall Street No. 11 and is still located there. The NYSE established Dow Jones Index was created back in 1896 with initially 12 companies.

Today, NYSE is part of InternationalExchange Inc. (ICE), headquartered in Atlanta.

In addition to the NYSE, ICE also includes the London Futures Exchange, ICE Futures Canada, ICE Futures US, formerly the New York Board of Trade, and ICE Futures, the former International Petroleum Exchange.

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